[Today the Gastronomia Manzini is no longer located at the Albinelli Market but has changed location. For me, however, it remains a historic market stall, which is why I decided to keep this article on the blog]
There are many stalls of Albinelli Market in Modena that deserve to listen to their own the story, probably all. When I walk around the market, in addition to colors and smells, I try to breathe the stories of people who every morning wake up at dawn to go to work. I make myself thousand questions, I try to imagine how many beautiful things they could tell me. And so it did Massimo Manzini, owner since 1984 of Manzini Brothers delicatessen stall. There are so many market stories in Modena….
Have you ever thought how many experiences of life are collected inside a market?
People go, people come back, some people stay, others spend most of their lives in this big “home”.
Markets are a little bit in this way: noisy, fascinating and above all full of experiences, full of life.
They are big theater shows that are staged every day.
I liked the idea of talking about the protagonists of this beautiful show and then, I said to myself: I try to have a chat with someone of them.
In order to start I have to choose one, but I don’t exclude that this could be the beginning of a sort of “saga” called “Market Stories”.
Today I’ll tell you the story of Massimo who, together with his sister and his wife, is owner of a delicatessen stall with a gastronomic tradition that lasts for more than 30 years.
This stall is easily identifiable especially for its very curious sign where is written: “The Cod Fish Boutique”. Massimo explained me the reason: this family business, which has begun by Massimo, his sister and his mother, started with savory food products like salted cod, anchovies and preserved fish, this is why they were called “saraccari“, in Modenese dialect “sarachér”, because they sold salted fish.
Since then, their clients needs have changed and the stall starts to sell different products: canned goods, olives and ready meals, first bought from local delicatessen, then made by their own. Today this delicatessen stall is a well-established company, which gives a job in addition to Massimo, his sister and his wife, to other 7 employees, owns a laboratory for the preparation of food, opened nearby in 2002 and offers high quality products, mainly linked to the territory.
I asked Massimo how is working in Albinelli Market and he replied me that it has its positive sides (many) but also its negative (someone) as everything. What is positive is distinctiveness of the place, the movement of people and the atmosphere that reigns between the owners of the different stalls, especially the historical ones, is comparable to the one of a big family. The negative sides are mostly related to the weather and the seasons: the heat in summer and cold in winter temper the spirits 🙂
Then, I couldn’t do without asking Massimo to tell me some anecdotes on the market: “I would have to keep a diary to remember them all!”, this was his answer. Why not?! I think that diaries are always good ideas😉
Massimo told me about the past, the present, but also about his future and the market future. Changes are in the air for both. He is planning great changes in his life that will lead him to start a new adventure outside the market. The market, instead, although it will always be a referring point for the city, needs to undertake a transformation. It will be necessary starting to consider a structural change of the offer, such as the on-site consumption, as it is already in many other city markets, and the extension of opening and closing hours.
Today, more than ever, we are voracious of experiences and I’m sure that the Albinelli Market is one of those experiences that we want make last as long as possible. In the morning, during the lunch or the happy hour, many are the possibilities to enjoy this precious space. Needs change, people change, but traditions remain. What’s more beautiful than being able to bring together tradition and modernity?
The story of this delicatessen stall is also on Steller:
Since September 2016, Manzini Brothers have moved from Mercato Albinelli and are now in via Peretti 17, not so far from the center of Modena.